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Those were the days

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So here I am seven weeks out of surgery and I'm going nuts. Doing a lot of walking and some light exercise and my trip to the surgeon yesterday ended up on a good note. My stomach is flattening out nicely and my rear end shows no evidence of surgery. I'm bored to tears sitting around the house, but the cash flow is low so I'll have to pick my trips wisely this year.


I've been reading a lot of posts and I sometimes wonder how things might have been If I started pursuing the sport now as opposed to forty something years ago. Things were much simpler then. As a kid I was possesed. I couldn't get enough of fishing. I read all I could and couldn't wait for the next episode of the Flying Fisherman with Gaddabout Gaddis. I wanted to do it all, grayling in Montana, dorado in the rivers of South America, muskies in the St Lawrence, northern pike in Canada.


I always enjoyed myself no matter what kind of fishing I was doing. The gear didn't matter. The size of the fish didn't matter. I was never concerned about the best rod, the best reel, the best lures, the best tide. We just went out fishing. Don't know for sure why I enjoyed it, but I do know that my folks never pushed me into it. We went out, I liked it, they let me run with it.


Went over to mom's for dinner the other day and was rummaging around in some boxes of old photos. Found a few of the good old days. Not sure when I first started fishing, but more than likely it was at Central Park. I guess lots of city kids got their start there. Mostly sunnies and carp and I think an occaisional yellow perch. If you got bored with fishing you could always go to the back end of the lake and net some frogs and tadpoles. The local kids were pretty good at getting crawfish out of the mud. They caught lots of fish with their handlines too. I wonder if the kids today use the lake to fish or if their busy at home catching fish on their computers.


Here I am showing perfect form with my baitcaster I guess about eight years old on the rocks opposite the rowboat rentals.





In Central Park matching the hatch meant doughballs. There's a plastic bag full of the stuff at my feet. I realized at an early age fish are stoopid. Black braided line tied direct to the hook no fluro or jinkai or whatever else it is they use today. The old man probably would have had a stroke if I said dad I need this leader material and it costs a buck a yard.





We also did a little saltwater fishing back then. Started out on the Captree pier by the boat basin. The fishing was pretty good over there but much better on the pier on the south side. It would be a couple of years before we fished that side. Here I am nine years old with a mess of flounders. Weren't mine but I couldn't keep my eyes off the things so the guy let me hold em while the old man snapped the pic. No fishing for me, right arm was in a cast.




Same pier probably a year or so later with some blowfish. Still fishing the conventional. Later on when we fished the other pier we'd catch hundreds of these things and they were really good eating. The piers at Robert Moses would yield really nice catches of flounder back then. Don't know how they are today. I wonder if anybody even fishes them. It's been years since I've been out that way.




Probably about eleven when I got my first spinning reel. It was a genie and I fished with a black solid fiberglass rod with bright green wraps. I fished upside down because I just couldn't get the hang of the lefthanded crank after all those years fishing with the crank on the right. This was on the south side pier and I believe it was one of my first blackfish trips. I managed a couple but one guy was really kicking butt. I could see he wasn't using fiddlers like everyone else. I was pretty shy as a kid, but if i needed to know something I wouldn't hesitate to ask. Found out that hermit crabs were the bait of choice and you had to get your own.




Last shot as a pre-teen collecting hermit crabs for bait. I may have fished the spinner like a total goog, but I was no dope. If they wanted hermits I'd give em hermits. Getting the bait was almost as much fun as the fishing, whether it was grabbing nightcrawlers on a rainy night , or digging for clams, or wading for crabs. Lucky for me my mother enjoyed it and her best friend loved to fish so we spent lots of time fishing during the summer while my dad was busy working




Yep those were the good old days. Not a care in the world. No job, no bills, no worries. It was all good, sunnies, carp, snappers, flounders, blowfish, blacks didn't matter, one was as good as the other. We fished for fun and we fished for food. Only bass and fluke had a size limit and there was no such thing as a bag limit. Never heard the word googan and a mugging was something that happened on the city streets. The piers would be elbow to elbow with people but there were plenty of fish to go around and even though there were tangles I never remember anybody getting uppity. The first twelve years were some of the best years of my life. Yep life was good.


Sorry for the length but reading some of the posts lately I often wonder if anybody really has any fun when they go out fishing. I think that if my introduction to fishing was the internet I might have quit before I even got started. I'm actually looking forward to getting back to work eek.gif

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Great post, Shaky. The pictures are great, not for the places, but for the feelings you inspired in me. The pride of catching as a child is part of the pleasure I get from fishing today.


Two parts of what you wrote stuck out to me. You said that catching bait is nearly as much fun as catching the fish, and frankly, the fish doesn't matter much either if you are 12. Good stuff to remember, even if you're not 12.

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Excellent post. Happy to hear you are bouncing back fast. Your right about alot of things. I have gotten to the point that if someone earns a dime off this sport I no longer listen to them. Lots of peddlers these days.

Less commercialism and more fun!

Be well,

Steve smile.gif

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Thanks guys. I had fun getting here and I had fun writing about my childhood. I'm always more than a little saddened when I look back at those years. I guess at about twelve was when you couldn't wait to get into your teens. That was the first big step, at least it was for me. I had no concept of time other than it took too long for Christmas, birthday and summer vacations to arrive smile.gif


Sweetwater, I hear you. Central Park could never be confused with Great Bear Lake. The piers at Captree and Robert Moses could not hold a candle to some of the piers I visited in Florida both on the Gulf and the Atlantic, but the fishing was quite good and you could usually get more than enough of what you came for to put on the table and still have enough for the freezer.


I saw in the tavern FWW started a post about what age to take kids fishing. I'm not sure, but I can say most kids are interested in critters of all kinds. We always had fun checking out tide pools or drainage ditches in the salt.


At the park we'd always have a net with us and we'd walk the shore seeing what we could collect. Until they're taught otherwise, frogs, toads, snakes, and salamanders will generally hold the attention of young kids. Any kind of life will keep boredom from setting in. As an adult it's also good to get bass off the brain.


As a pre teen I have to admit that three of the fish that were high on the list of must catch were dogfish, sea robins and eels. There's no accounting for what a kid will treasure the most so don't even try and figure it out. Your kids don't need or want to know about Lamis Ticas and Rainshadows. Just go out and have some fun. The first dozen go way too fast.

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Great pics and a great post to start my morning with smile.gif I was wondering what years they were taken? I'm sitting here, at work, all wimpy now, thinking about my Dad and the fun we had fishing. He passed away in 1993 and everyday, I mean EVERYDAY, I wish I was a kid again to hang out with him. I guess I was lucky to have him in my life until I was 30. crying.gif

Man, see what you did now rolleyes.gif

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